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Lawn & Garden

Building your own frost/shade structure

With the weather getting cooler, there have been a number of customers asking about protecting their more sensitive outdoor plants from the cooler weather as the night time temperatures continue to drop into the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  I did an article a couple of years ago about how to build your own frost/shade structure out of PVC with easy to follow instructions on “How to Build Your Own Frost/Shade Structure.”


How to Build a Frost and Shade Structure with PVC


Keep in mind that when putting this structure together, it is designed for those areas that experience a light freeze, not for the areas that have a hard freeze such as Minnesota, Iowa or Wisconsin just to name a few.  You can still use this frost protective structure on a light freeze in those areas, but it will not be effective if you have a hard freeze where the cold will penetrate into the ground.

I used the ¾ PVC for my project.  It seemed to be sturdier than the ½ inch PVC.


When my family lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, my parents would cover out fall plants with a cotton or flannel sheet to protect them from an early frost.  The Frost/Shade structure can do the same thing for your taller tomato plants whether they are in the ground or in pots. I like using the large #15 nursery pots for my gardening.  The larger black nursey pots seem to soak up more of the sunlight and keep the soil warmer at night when coupled with the cotton or flannel sheet.


One of the things I like about this structure is that it can be changed, merely by adding or subtracting different lengths of PVC.  You can make your structure taller, wider or shorter to meet your particular need.


In the summer, you can use this structure to shade your more sensitive plants in case of exceptionally hot weather.

 Please check out the How to Link.




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Posted 2018-12-18T18:23:35+0000  by Rick_HD_OC Rick_HD_OC